North Bay Resources Inc. ("North Bay" or the "Company") reports that a formal evaluation documenting the recently completed Archeological Overview Assessment ("AOA") at the Company's Fraser River Project near Lytton, BC has been completed and submitted for review to the Archeology Branch of British Columbia's Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (the "Branch").
The archeological work was performed by Klahanee Heritage Research under the auspices of Michael Klassen, Ph.D., RPCA. The report was completed and submitted to the Branch on October 25, 2013. The following is the report's summary of results and recommendations:
- Archaeological sites regulated under the Heritage Conservation Act were identified in close proximity to the proposed mining test pit and ancillary development area, and in conflict with the existing vehicle track, including a previously registered archaeological site (EbRj-147), an additional surface lithic scatter (in two discrete clusters), and a possible cultural depression.
- Historic placer mining features were observed within the proposed test pit and ancillary development areas, representing small-scale sluice box and rocker placer mining dating from ca. 1859 to the late 1800s. These complement the larger-scale ground sluice and hydraulic mining features represented in the adjacent fields of cobble tailings and channels.
Impact Management for Regulated Archaeological Sites
- Avoidance of regulated archaeological sites is feasible for the proposed test pit and ancillary development areas, and no further archaeological investigations within these areas are warranted.
- Site avoidance is not feasible if the existing vehicle track will be used to access to the proposed project. A Heritage Inspection Permit or Site Alteration Permit issued under the Heritage Conservation Act will be required if access to the proposed project is via this track.
- If an alternate access route is proposed in order to avoid conflict with the identified archaeological sites, a preliminary field reconnaissance survey to identify potential conflicts with heritage concerns is recommended.
- Periodic surveillance and/or monitoring is recommended for all mining and related ground-disturbing activities, due to the proximity of regulated archaeological sites to the proposed test pit, ancillary development, and access track.
Impact Management for Non-regulated Heritage Concerns
- Although the small-scale historic mining features identified in the project area are not regulated under the Heritage Conservation Act, the historic features are a significant component of the province's mining history and representative of the involvement of Chinese and Nlaka'pamux miners in the Fraser River gold rush.
- Excavation of the proposed test pit and utilization of the ancillary development area will result in adverse impacts to the historic placer mining features and affect the integrity of the larger placer mining historic landscape.
- A Heritage Impact Assessment of these historic features, as per the terms of reference provided by the Heritage Branch, is recommended prior to the commencement of mining activities.
The Company is pleased that the report confirms our expectations by clearly stating that there are no archeological sites of significance within the parameters of our permitted mining area, and concludes that no further archeological assessment work is warranted at the location where we will begin mining. Whether or not the Branch requests any additional surveys on the access roads or the unregulated heritage sites in the vicinity remains a subject for further discussion with the Branch. The report is now under review by the Branch, and the Company is awaiting the results of the review to learn what recommendations the Branch may or may not adopt. The Company will issue another update once the results of the Branch review are known.
About The Fraser River Project
The Fraser River Project is located near the village of Lytton in south-central British Columbia, Canada, and covers approximately 4.5 kilometers of placer claims along the Fraser River. Recent assessments indicate assays up to 5.68 grams per tonne gold and 0.427 grams per tonne platinum.